Clothing & equipment

Categories

Running & racing in cold rain: What should I wear?

By Andrew Skurka / April 24, 2018 / 8 Comments

At my Outside Online blog I have shared clothing recommendations for racing in cold rain, inspired by the recent Boston Marathon during which runners endured 40-degree temps, a 10 to 20 mph headwind, and an inch or rain. I wasn’t at Boston this year (or, fortuitously, Barkley, which also suffered from difficult weather), but I’m…

Heart rate monitor troubleshooting: Suunto Smart Sensor & Ambit3 Peak

By Andrew Skurka / March 16, 2018 / 68 Comments

Last November my heart rate monitor was not working properly. Readings were regularly inconsistent and inaccurate during training runs. I use the Suunto Smart Sensor and Suunto Ambit3 Peak (long-term review), which I purchased together in August and used together without incident for the first 150 hours. Here is an example of its behavior: The readings are…

Review: Hoka One One Challenger ATR 4 || Easy singletrack + mixed runs

By Andrew Skurka / February 28, 2018 / 10 Comments

My shoe-de-jour changes with the season and the training cycle. Last summer while training for 100-mile mountain ultras and undertaking high routes I was most excited about the Salomon S/Lab Sense Ultra (my review) and La Sportiva Bushido (my review). In the lead-up to the Houston Marathon in January, I put hundreds of miles on the Hoka…

Reader Q || Poles for ultra trail running: recommendations, sizing, & carrying

By Andrew Skurka / February 26, 2018 / 17 Comments

From reader Matt. P of Knoxville: The value of poles in an ultra depends on: Individual fitness, Course length, and Amount of vertical climbing. Essentially, the more hiking you expect to do, the more valuable they will be. Participants in the middle and back of the pack will hike more than the front-runners, but some…

Accuracy of Suunto Ambit3 Peak at Okay/60-second GPS pings (200-hr)

By Andrew Skurka / February 24, 2018 / 36 Comments

Following my long-term review of the Suunto Ambit3 Peak, friend and fellow guide Alan Dixon sent me an email with the title, “Suunto 200 hr mode not cutting it,” and shared that on a recent 8.2-mile hike his Ambit3 shortchanged him by 1.5 miles (18 percent). He had set the GPS accuracy of the Ambit at “Okay”…

Review: Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro || What am I missing?

By Andrew Skurka / February 22, 2018 / 22 Comments

For a few weeks I have been using a friend’s Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro. I am a longtime user of Suunto’s original GPS watch family, the Ambit, but this is the first Spartan series model that I have worn. It has a few nice features, but my recommendation is to stay away from…

Long-term review: Suunto Ambit3 Peak || Unmatched performance for the price

By Andrew Skurka / February 13, 2018 / 81 Comments

Last August I upgraded to the Suunto Ambit3 Peak, after using for four years the previous iteration, the Suunto Ambit2 (read my long-term review). Since I train regularly based on heart rate, I bought the HR package, which includes the Smart Sensor Belt. To date I have worn the Suunto Ambit3 Peak for more than 150 runs or…

Preview: Salomon S/Lab Ultra & Ultra Pro, and S/Lab Sense 7 & Sense Pro 3

By Andrew Skurka / January 31, 2018 / 30 Comments

For 2018 Salomon has partially reconfigured the line architecture of its trail running shoes, to better leverage a few success stories and to create space for greater product differentiation. It created an entirely new category, Ultra, and then updated the S/Lab and Pro models in its longstanding Sense line. Ultra The new Ultra category is more niche…

Sneak peak: Ultimate Direction Scram || Anton Krupicka scramble pack

By Andrew Skurka / January 30, 2018 / 2 Comments

After a Sierra Designs meeting this morning (re updates to the High Route Tent for 2019), I swung through the Ultimate Direction area to ask about the new pack they are designing with the ridiculously fit but chronically injured Anton Krupicka. None of the Exxel Outdoors brands — notably SD, UD, Kelty, and Slumberjack — had…

Buyer’s Guide: Kathoola Microspikes vs K-10 and KTS Crampons || Differences, intended uses, and limitations

By Andrew Skurka / January 29, 2018 / 32 Comments

Kahtoola was showing off its new gaiters at the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow, but I was more interested in its time-tested traction devices. These spikes and crampons are crux for: Running on snow- and ice-covered trails and roads; and, Hiking on glacial ice, crust-covered snowpack, or steep-ish lingering snowfields. All the Kahtoola devices are compatible with soft-soled…